Thread: Superstition?
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Old 12-16-2006, 08:12 PM   #9
between2worlds
Great Uncle Patrick
 
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White Deer

It was considered to be very bad to kill a white deer or any other creature that was not NORMALLY white. Interestingly enough on the evening news I saw that there is apparently a herd of approximately 150 white deer (not albino - white with dark eyes) that are being protected in Seneca County, New York on a vacated military base decomissioned after the end of the Cold War.

I did a little sleuthing on the web and came across this article that explains a bit about what the TV news blurb had said about possible industrial development planned by Seneca County for this area:


SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL NEWS
http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/p...610250372/1006

(Original publication: October 25, 2006)

Last year we wrote about the white deer of the Seneca Army Depot in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, a natural treasure of the state that was in jeopardy because of the undetermined future of their home, coveted by industrial developers.

The future use of the enclosed military base, which had proven to be a compound that encouraged the inbreeding of these deer that have dominant genes for white coloration, has been in question ever since the Army decided to abandon the facility. Until 2001, the depot had been used for six decades to store, supply, manufacture and destroy a variety of small arms, munitions, missiles and bombs. The depot's final war effort was in the first Desert Storm campaign. It provided nearly all the munitions used in that 1991 conflict.

Turning over its 10,500 acres to Seneca County, the military left the fate of the 250-plus white-tailed deer in the hands of that county's Industrial Development Agency.

Advocates for the deer and the wildness of the depot petitioned for controlled hunting, eco-tourism and a Cold War museum. Resolution of the future use of the depot has not been decided, but eco-tourism proponents, operating as Seneca White Deer Inc., were given permission to demonstrate the "natural attraction" of the base by allowing bus tours of the property on two weekends last weekend and this coming weekend. For insurance reasons, the visitors must stay on the bus, negating the opportunity to visit the base's pond, which teems with waterfowl and other wildlife at this time of the year.

This touring opportunity was advertised in local radio and newspaper ads, as well as on the Internet, said Dennis Money, chairman of the white deer advocacy group.

"We sold out all available seats for both weekends in 3 1/2 weeks," Money said. "Last weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, we took 900 people, each paying $10, on the 1 1/2-hour tours that left hourly from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m."

Another indication of the appeal of the white deer attraction and its financial potential was the sale of more than $5,000 in related merchandise, including T-shirts, posters and other items. The drawing power of the white deer was strong, pulling in not only residents of the Finger Lakes Region and other parts of the state, but also visitors from Washington state, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

"Every busload saw at least 15 white deer," Money said. "We hope the folks filling the sold-out buses this weekend will be as fortunate."

Money said his organization had to turn down hundreds of people applying for the limited number of seats. He hopes this display of interest and financial impact will open similar opportunities this spring, and ultimately a positive outcome for his organization's petition for capitalizing on the natural attractions of the depot.

"The spring fawn birth should offer tour registrants the possibility of glimpsing a newborn white deer," Money said.

Until a decision is made on spring outings and the ultimate plan for the depot, Money encourages interested parties to check Seneca White Deer's Web site, www.senecawhitedeer.org, to follow its progress and learn of any possible announcement of spring tours, as well as to sign a petition of support for the organization's proposal for the depot and to learn whom to contact to express further support.

White deer strike a cord with the public, as last year's column did, drawing many e-mails from readers who had seen albino or piebald deer in the past. CBS television network has taken an interest as well.

"We don't know what the slant is going to be, but its reporters were here, taping the depot and doing interviews," Money said. "Hopefully, it will be on the Evening News this week.

"Nowhere else on this planet do white deer occur in these numbers," he said.

The white deer of New York are becoming a national treasure, one to be conserved for their welfare and ours.
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